2016 Austin MotoGP Race Results: Marc Marquez Scores Fourth Successive Win From Pole At Circuit of the Americas

Marquez takes impressive win as Rossi, Dovisioso and Pedrosa crash out.

2016 Austin GP race results
Marc Marquez cruises to a fourth win in Texas ahead of Lorenzo and Iannone.©Motorcyclist

All eyes were on Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) as the MotoGP World Championship lined up at the head the grid for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. The Spaniard went into the race with a perfect record on America soil; winning every MotoGP race he had started in the United States. While Marquez was quietly confident, there were a number of riders who were looking to return to the front once more.

2016 Austin GP race results, Lorenzo leads lap 1
Lorenzo grabbed the lead into Turn 1 at the start of Lap 1 but ran wide on exit, allowing Marquez to move ahead.©Motorcyclist

Amongst them was Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), the 2015 MotoGP World Champion having suffered an uncharacteristic crash during warm-up. Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) was another ready to make an impact, having qualified fourth; he started in seventh after his penalty from the Argentina GP.

All of the factory Yamaha and Ducati riders opted for medium tires front and rear while pole-sitter Marquez chose the soft front with medium rear. COTA has always been a challenging circuit for tires and all who lined up knew that their choice on the grid would make a significant difference.

Lorenzo grabbed the lead into Turn 1 at the start of Lap 1 but ran wide on exit, allowing Marquez to move ahead. The field all made it through the opening corners, Lorenzo in second with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) third. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) made a good start utilizing the power of the Ducati to slide into second down the back straight.

2016 Austin GP race results, Marquez leading
Marquez increasing his lead early in the race.©Motorcyclist

As Dovi came through, so too did Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar), the Spaniard finding himself in fourth at the start of the second lap after starting in ninth. Espargaro had gone against the norm and opted for soft front and rear, the extra grip giving him a clear advantage in the opening laps. And for the third race in a row, Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) would crash at Turn 1.

The third lap began with Rossi crashing out of the race at Turn 2, losing the front mid corner. Marquez and Dovizioso increased their lead, while Lorenzo defended his third place position. For the first time in 25 races, Rossi failed to finish in the top five.

Marquez continued to hammer home his advantage, leading Dovizioso by a second midway through the fourth lap of the race. Action intensified further down the field as Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) battled hard with Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) in an attempt to make up for a poor start to the race.

2016 Austin GP race results, Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team©Motorcyclist

Marquez extended his lead with every lap and after the first five, his fourth straight win in Texas looked certain. But the remaining two spots on the podium were wide open, Lorenzo getting past Dovizioso with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) waiting patiently behind. After a strong start, Aleix Espargaro began to drop back and soon passed by Andrea Iannone.

At the start of the seventh lap Pedrosa had a huge moment on the front end going into Turn 1, losing control of his Honda and crashing hard into Dovizioso. For the second race in a row, another rider would take down Dovizioso. Pedrosa would be able to re-join, but Dovi’s race was over, the Italian leaving the circuit distraught but fortunately without major injury.

2016 Austin GP race results, Pedrosa and Dovisioso
Dani Pedrosa rushed over to Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovisioso immediately after his sliding Repsol Honda took him out at Turn 1.©Motorcyclist

At Turn 11 on lap eight both Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) fell off as the crashing continued. Each was able to remount the race but the leading four now had huge gaps between them, separated by at least three seconds. All the falls bumped Iannone up to a provisional podium in third place. The Team Suzuki Ecstar duo meanwhile continued to dice it out for fourth, Viñales also running the softer rear but had opted for the medium front, which gave him increased braking stability.

Chaos unfolded behind, but Marquez remained cool as he upped his pace to the 2’04s; almost half a second faster than Lorenzo’s laps. Each lap saw Marquez set a new fastest lap of the race. None of the top three were able to make major progress on the rider ahead, unlike the Suzuki pair who continued to slug it out. Viñales would dive up the inside, only to have Espargaro come back past him soon after.

With 10 laps to go, Dani Pedrosa pulled into the pits as his bike was too damaged to continue. In a true sign of sportsmanship, Pedrosa went straight to the box of Dovizioso to apologize for the incident and explain that it was not intentional.

2016 Austin GP race results
Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha©Motorcyclist

The rhythm of the race continued, Viñales now a second clear of his teammate as all of the top seven riders were spread out on track. Even though he was now over six seconds ahead of Lorenzo, Marquez’s pace remained over half a second faster as he asserted his dominance at the Circuit of the Americas with each lap.

As many had predicated, Marquez walked to victory and crossed the line 6.107s ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. For just the second time in his career, Lorenzo takes to the podium at COTA as he ended the race second. Iannone rounded out the podium with a safe ride to third place.

2016 Austin GP race results, Maverick Viñales and Team Suzuki Ecstar teammate Aleix Espargaro battling for fourth position.
Maverick Viñales and Team Suzuki Ecstar teammate Aleix Espargaro battling for fourth position.©Motorcyclist

Maverick Viñales secured his best-ever premier class finish in fourth ahead of his teammate Aleix Espargaro, a great day for Suzuki with a double top five.

Scott Redding, Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Michele Pirro (Octo Pramac Yakhnich), Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).

As the Championship returns to Europe, Marquez leads with 66 points a solid 21 points clear of Lorenzo in second. After failing to finish the Americas GP, Rossi slips to third with 33 championship points as clear gaps are already emerging.

2016 Grand Prix of the Americas Results:
1. Marc MARQUEZ (93), Repsol Honda Team HONDA
2. Jorge LORENZO (99) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA
3. Andrea IANNONE (29) Ducati Team DUCATI
4. Maverick VIÑALES (25) Team Suzuki Ecstar SUZUKI
5. Aleix ESPARGARO (41) Team Suzuki Ecstar SUZUKI
6. Scott REDDING (45) OCTO Pramac Yakhnich DUCATI
7. Pol ESPARGARO (44) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
8. Michele PIRRO (51) OCTO Pramac Yakhnich DUCATI
9. Hector BARBERA (8) Avintia Racing DUCATI
10. Stefan BRADL (6) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA
11. Alvaro BAUTISTA (19) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA
12. Eugene LAVERTY (50) Aspar Team MotoGP DUCATI
13. Tito RABAT (53) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS HONDA
14. Yonny HERNANDEZ (68) Aspar Team MotoGP DUCATI
15. Loris BAZ (76) Avintia Racing DUCATI
16. Cal CRUTCHLOW (35) LCR Honda HONDA
17. Bradley SMITH (38) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA

Not Classified
Dani PEDROSA (26) Repsol Honda Team HONDA
Andrea DOVIZIOSO (4) Ducati Team DUCATI
Valentino ROSSI (46) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA